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Make Working From Home Work For You
While working remotely has been trending in previous years, approximately 44% in the last 5 years, many have been thrown into this evolving category this year without notice. Since COVID lockdown occurred so suddenly, most workers had little to no time to strategize how the transition of an office worker to a remote employee would happen. On top of this, many are having to share crucial office space with children that are also doing school work from home. Makeshift offices have popped up in dining rooms and kitchens across America.
There is growing anticipation that this movement will continue even after the lockdown is released. A well thought out office space and make a profound difference in the quality of work and productivity for all that use this space. Having a custom-designed office space does not have to be merely a dream, it can easily be a reality. There are some things that need to be considered before contacting a contractor to help with the design and build-out. Make sure to carefully think through how space will be used and who all needs to be factored into the space planning. Below are some other items to contemplate while writing your wish list…
This may be the most critical item to think through to make sure you get right. Several things will affect the space planning and layout of the cabinetry. For starters, how many computers need to share the room. If only 2 will be sharing a desk suite, a T-shaped desk is a natural solution.
If 3 or 4 users need to use the same office, you may want to consider housing each user in their own corner and having a full room desk unit built to allow for plenty of elbow room. Also, consider how many screens each user will need as well as open desktop space needed to spread out papers. You want adequate space but still, have everything within arms reach so you are not struggling to get things as you need them.
There are other items to think about during this process. For example, there are new creative ways to be at your desk, such as standing instead of sitting. Many companies offer desks that can raise and lower to offer you options. This decreases back strain from sitting too long and promotes better posture and circulation. Cord control is another hot button that needs to be addressed. Outlets can be roughed in before building out the office, so cords can creatively be hidden within the unit. Bulky, unsightly items, like printers and faxes, can be housed within the build-out and only opened as needed, this will keep your desk tidy and reduce dust settling on the units to extend lifespan.
Beyond the desk layout, where you place the desk in the space is just as important as the desk itself. Feng Shui promotes being able to see every corner of the room from where you sit. Most importantly the door, so you are not startled when someone enters. Having a set of doors to close off the space is also important to reduce interruptions from noises and family members coming in to talk. Doors being closed can also help give you a true sense of a dedicated workspace and help you mentally disconnect from being at home and things like laundry that need to be tackled. Placement of other items needs to be thought out, as extra seating for visitors and extra storage. If you have a lot of books, consider adding bookshelves to house them all in one location and to be readily available should you need them. Done properly, a bookshelf can also double as a design element in an otherwise utilitarian space.
Proper lighting is often overlooked and sometimes hard to go back and correct. Special thought needs to go into the exact position and brightness to reduce eye strain. Any good lighting plan will mix all 3 types of lighting: general, task, and accent. General or ambient lighting usually will often come from recessed lighting, which can be added if you do not currently have any. If you primarily work during the day, having a source of natural light can, like a window or skylight can serve as this source. Task lighting can come from a desk lamp as well as under-cabinet lighting that can be installed in any upper storage cabinets. Lastly, accent lighting can be added to create interest or drama to space or to highlight special items, light artwork, or plants that you want to make a focal point.
As you can see, putting a little extra thought into the design of your new home office upfront will make sure you maximize the potential of what the space can be. After all, if you work full-time you will likely spend more waking hours in your study than in any other room of your home. Framestead would love to help you through the design process as well as the build-out.
When you are ready to get the office of your dreams, call us at 832-376-5130 to schedule a free in-home consultation.